A week after booking tickets to Cuba, I came across an article in the New York Times highlighting the food shortages locals faced as a result of increased tourism in Cuba. Reading about locals going without staples, my face flushed with embarrassment. I still wanted to go to Cuba, but I hoped to find a way to lessen my trip’s impact on local people.
Knowing that “helping the Cuban people” is an approved category for Americans to travel to Cuba, I figured it would be straightforward to find ways to give to the Cuban people on my educational trip to Cuba. Quite the opposite is true!
Finding legitimate, budget-friendly ways to help Cubans is tricky, in part due to the low internet usage in the country. There’s just not a lot of information online that’s specific and concrete, especially if you’re on a backpacker’s budget.
If you’re thinking of going to Cuba, and you want to do some good to offset tourism’s harmful side effects, here are 6 legit ways you can help Cubans.